Caribbean Series 2017: Not even close as Roberson powers Mexicali going four for five with an RBI in 7-2 win over the Dominicans

February 3, 2017

MLB photo: Mexicali baseball gets great support from it’s hostesses at the Caribbean Series

By Lewis Rubman

Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico–Tonight, in a battle between the two leading teams in this year’s Caribbean Series, Mexico’s representative, the Mexicali Aguilas (Eagles) broke open a tight game against the Dominican Republic’s Licey Tigres (Tigers) with a three run outburst in their half of the seventh inning. That half was the top half because, although although the Mexican Pacific League is the series’ host, each team gets to play both the home and visting roles during the all against all segment of the tournament.

The Aguilas were leading 3-2 after six innings thanks to a single by C.J. Retherford that scored Chris Roberson in the first and Jason Bougeois’s triple that brought in Roberson and Xorge Carrillo in the sixth frame. The Dominicans had sccored their runs in the first and third innings. In the first, Roney Rodriguez came home with the tying run on Zolo Almonte’s double to left off starter Hector Velazaquez. In the third, it was Leury Garcia’s double that plated Rodrilguez.

In the seventlh, Bougeois connected for three bases when, with two outs, Amonte failed to make a diving catch of his sinking liner to left. Yuniesky Betancourt’s grounder to short would have ended the inning if the Tigers’ Sergio Alcantara hadn’t bobbled it. That error prolonged the inning and gave Rutherford the chance to blast the ball out of the park. He took advantage of that chance, sending the sphere well over the left field fence. (In the bottom of the seventh, Roberson did what Amonte couldn’t, making a lovely catch on a sinking liner by Solano). The Eagles tacked on another two out tally in. the eighth on a double by Ramon Rios, a single by the ever dangerous Roberson that scored Isaac Rodriguez Salazar, running for Rios.

Roberson went four for five with an RBI, to lead the Aguilas offense. Bougeois went fhree for four with a pair of runs driven in. Designated hitter Luis Juarez also went three for four. None of the Dominicans got more than one hit. The loss went to the starter, Valdez, who trailing and weakening when he left the game with one out and runners on first and third in the fifth. He was replaced by Warner Madrigal, who dodged the bullet when Donovan Solano speared Betancourt’s searing liner and stepped on the double Roberson off third.

The win, credited to Velaquez, who went five innings and gave up two runs, only one of which was earned, puts Mexico at the top of the standings at 2-0. Cuba and Venezuela follow at 1-0, trailed by the Dominican Republic at 1-1, with Puerto Rico bringing up the rear at 0-2.

Tomorrow’s afternoon contest pits Puerto Rico against Cuba . The night game will be between Venezuela and Mexico, a battle of the eagles.


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